Summary: The early church was born on this day and it fueled them to go out and conquer the world. It energized their Christian lives. It was a significant event that changed everyone. Let’s take a look at Pentecost Past, Pentecost Present, and Pentecost Future
“Birthday of the Church: Past, Present, and Future”
INTRODUCTION… Most Expensive Birthday Parties (http://www.lolwot.com/20-of-the-most-expensive-and-craziest-celebrity-birthday-parties-ever/)
Birthdays are a time of celebration. For most of us birthdays include, cake, ice cream, and a few friends. I know in our family we go out to eat at a special restaurant that the birthday person chooses. That is what we do. I looked up some of the most expensive birthday parties and had fun reading through the list. Here are some highlights:
#1 Justin Beiber had a clown theme birthday party that cost $20,000
#2 Sir Philip Green had a 60th birthday party that lasted 4 days and cost $6 million. After his birthday, he had a nightclub built for his daughter’s 21st birthday. Yes a ‘nightclub built.’
#3 Beyonce threw a party in New Orleans for her mother’s 60th birthday which cost over $100,000 and included all the guests arriving in horse-drawn carriages.
#4 Katy Perry threw a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory themed party.
#5 Paris Hilton threw 5 birthday parties for her 21st birthday in 5 different cities: London, New York, Tokyo, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.
#6 Simon Cowell spent $1.6 Million for his 50th birthday which included a shark tank and all his guests arriving in limos.
Birthdays can be a grand celebration. Today on the Church calendar it is known as Pentecost which is the “Birth of the Church.” It is on this day that we celebrate believer’s in Jesus Christ forming a family of faith with a divine purpose. To be honest, the day was already significant for Jewish believers and it gained new meaning 40 days after Easter for Christians. As I thought about this passage, most often referred to as Pentecost, I wondered how we could think about it and study it, so that it would have the same affect on us as it did in the early church… which is encouragement! The early church was born on this day and it fueled them to go out and conquer the world. It energized their Christian lives. It was a significant event that changed everyone. Let’s take a look at Pentecost Past, Pentecost Present, and Pentecost Future.
I. PENTECOST PAST
If we look in the past, before this day in Acts chapter 2, we will find a different sort of
Pentecost celebration. If you were to walk up to any person before this particular day and asked them what Pentecost meant, they would tell you that it was a great feast held in Jerusalem every year. It was also called the Feast of Weeks. Everyone who could make the journey would travel to Jerusalem to feast. They were celebrating a year of hard work in the fields and harvesting. It was a celebration of thanks to God for His provision.
READ DEUTERONOMY 16:10-17
“Then celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessings the LORD your God has given you. 11 And rejoice before the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name-- you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, the Levites in your towns, and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows living among you. 12 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and follow carefully these decrees. 13 Celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress. 14 Be joyful at your Feast-- you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levites, the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns. 15 For seven days celebrate the Feast to the LORD your God at the place the LORD will choose. For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete. 16 Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles. No man should appear before the LORD empty-handed: 17 Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you.”
There is a Jewish feast going on which is why, in today’s text, we find everyone together on the Day of Pentecost. They were together having a good time of celebration and thanks for the year. They were all just following the tradition they had grown up with. Pentecost was a time of celebration where people would feast and be thankful for what God had already given them and for the provision He would provide in the future.
I found it interesting that a requirement of the celebration was that no one should come to God empty-handed. Verse 16 shares that requirement and verse 17 shares that the gift the person was to bring was to be in proportion to what God had already given. Give out of what God has given. I want you to keep in mind that word “proportion” because it will come in later as we think about Pentecost.